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Lecture 1: Usability

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

User Interface Hall of Shame

Source: Interface Hall of Shame

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

User Interface Hall of Shame

Source: Interface Hall of Shame

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

The Example, Redesigned

Source: Interface Hall of Shame

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

More UI Hall of Shame

Source: Interface Hall of Shame

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

UI Hall of Fame or Shame?

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

UI Hall of Fame or Shame?

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

UI Hall of Fame or Shame?

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

UI Hall of Fame or Shame?

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

UI Hall of Fame or Shame?

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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The User Interface Is Important


User interface strongly affects perception of
software
Usable software sells better
Unusable web sites are abandoned

Perception is sometimes superficial


Users blame themselves for UI failings
People who make buying decisions are not always
end-users

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6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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The Cost of Getting It Wrong


Users time isnt getting cheaper
Design it correctly now, or pay for it later
Disasters happen

Spring 2011

Therac-25 radiation therapy machine


Aegis radar system in USS Vincennes
Supertanker accident off England
Predator UAV accident in Arizona

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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User Interfaces Are Hard to Design


You are not the user
Most software engineering is about
communicating with other programmers
UI is about communicating with users

The user is always right


Consistent problems are the systems fault

...but the user is not always right, either


Users arent designers

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Usability Defined
Usability: how well users can use the
systems functionality
Dimensions of usability

Spring 2011

Learnability: is it easy to learn?


Efficiency: once learned, is it fast to use?
Visibility: is the state of the system visible?
Errors: are errors few and recoverable?
Satisfaction: is it enjoyable to use?

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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Usability Dimensions Vary In Importance


Depends on the user
Novice users need learnability
Infrequent users need memorability
Experts need efficiency

But no user is uniformly novice or expert


Domain experience
Application experience
Feature experience

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6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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Usability Is Only One Attribute of a


System
Software designers have a lot to worry about:

Functionality
Usability
Performance
Size
Cost
Reliability
Security
Standards

Many design decisions involve tradeoffs


among different attributes
Well take an extreme position in this class

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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Words, Words, Words


user interface (UI)
usability
human-computer interaction (HCI)
ergonomics
user experience (UX)
Design

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6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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User Experience Design

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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What Youll Learn in 6.813/6.831


Design principles
learnability, visibility, errors, efficiency, ...

Design techniques
task analysis, prototyping, user testing, ...

Implementation techniques
MVC, output, input, layout, ...

Research methods (6.831G only)


experiment design & analysis

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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What I Hope Youll Get Out of 6.813/6.831


A sense for usability
some knowledge of human capabilities
design principles and patterns for better usability

A process for building usable interfaces


cheap prototypes
early and regular feedback from users
iterative design

Experience with GUI implementation


HTML/Javascript

(6.831G) Preparation for HCI research


controlled experiments
current HCI research topics

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Course Structure

Group project
Problem sets
In-class activities
Nanoquizzes
Collaboration policy

Spring 2011

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation

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Nanoquizzes
Every lecture will start with a 5-minute quiz

covers recent course material


Bring
taken online
your
well discuss the answers right after
laptop!
no makeups
your 20% lowest quiz grades (~6/30) will be discarded

Simulated question
1. Clippy is: (choose all answers that apply)
A.
B.
C.
D.

Spring 2011

Annoying to many users


A paperclip
A violation of the satisfaction dimension of usability
No longer in existence

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Next Time: UI Hall of Fame or Shame?

Source: Interface Hall of Shame

Spring 2011

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